Lawyers Handling Your Seattle Tour Bus Crash with Care
We've seen them on the news. Whether it's a Northwestern Bus Liner plowing through the guard rail overlooking I-5, a Starliner Luxury Tour causing a pile up on the 520, or a Duck Tour bus striking a motorcyclist and running him over – mismanaged and mishandled tour buses are a genuine problem in Seattle.
If you have been injured in a tour bus collision you may be entitled to compensation. Contact a lawyer at Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. for help.
What happens if you're a victim of one of these negligent bus companies? We've seen the results time and time again – innocent families and their loved ones horribly injured for life and given a less than adequate settlement from the company responsible for their pain and suffering.
At Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S., we don't wait for the adjustor's offers. We don't stand idly by as these reckless tour lines and their drivers walk away from tragedies they could have otherwise prevented. We dedicate every resource at our disposal into taking these people, and those that represent them, to task. They have a responsibility to repair the damage that was done, and we will hold them accountable.
You may be thinking: "I can't possibly go to trial. It's just too hard right now."
We understand this and, fortunately, most tour bus companies do too. The smart businesses will settle long before stepping foot into a courtroom with us. However, should they persist in the denial of your claim, we will not hesitate to bring them before a judge. And while we fight for your compensation, you can take the time to recover at home.
At Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S., we've built our winning reputation on the hard cases; not backing down from the industries that have plenty of money and multiple legal teams to represent them. When it comes to helping secure the funds you need to recover – we won't quit until you've won.
In the case of a tour bus, it is not so much a question of who may be at fault, but rather how many entities are responsible. There is the touring company, the bus company, the bus driver, the park where the accident happened, the municipal road in which it occurred; an endless parade of people and industries, that in one way or another, may be at fault. This makes assigning blame or negligence to one person or people, somewhat tricky. Often times, there are multiple at-fault parties - which makes having a legal representative at your side all the more important.
Duck tours are tours that take place on amphibious passenger vehicles (APVs); vehicles that are also referred to as 'duck boats'. Because they are similar to tour buses, in the way that they allow people to travel around a certain area and take in the sights, many people assume that they have the same regulations surrounding them. In actuality however, they do not.
This was made exceedingly clear in September of 2015, when Ride the Ducks Seattle was conducting a duck tour and it resulted in an accident that’s now infamous. At the time, the APV was crossing the Aurora Bridge while traveling at about 40 miles per hour when the axle broke, causing the driver to lose control, cross the centerline, and crash into a tour bus carrying international students from North Seattle College. Five students died in that crash and dozens more were seriously injured. Three other vehicles were also involved in the crash.
The case shed light on the severe lack of regulations in the industry in Seattle, and in other parts of the country as well. Today, those regulations aren’t much tighter, or any clearer, but in November of 2016, the National Transportation Safety Board ruled that the cause of the crash was mechanical failure (when the axle broke), improper maintenance of that axle, and loopholes in federal oversight. And while Seattle regulations aren’t much tighter than they were at the time of the accident, the proposals the Board made would help eliminate at least some of these all too common accidents.
Those proposals included:
- Registering all vehicles with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. This was something that Ride the Ducks International, the organizer of the tour, failed to do. It was also something they were criticized highly for by the Board.
- Address all problems promptly. This was something Ride the Ducks Seattle failed to do, as a bulletin was issued, warning tour operators of problems with the axle housings, and the company failed to do anything about it.
- Seatbelts should be worn by all passengers. During the investigation it was found that the APVs were not equipped to keep passengers well-protected, and that included a lack of seatbelts. Not only should seatbelts be installed and worn, they also need to be removed any time the vehicle enters the water.
- An immediate end to the use of the vehicles, until the problem is resolved. This was a specific proposal in the Seattle incident, but it’s one that could be applied to any case in any area. Strictly speaking, vehicles that are known to have defective parts or other safety issues should not be on the roadways or waterways.
If nothing else, this case of a duck tour accident certainly shed light on what can happen when manufacturers don’t register their vehicles and follow required protocol. Both Ride the Ducks International, the manufacturer of the vehicle, and Ride the Ducks Seattle, the company that was responsible for maintaining those vehicles and conducting safe tours were responsible.
While it’s little comfort for the victims or their families, they do deserve compensation for their injuries and losses, and so do victims of similar accidents. Civil lawsuits are still being brought against Ride the Ducks International, and Ride the Ducks Seattle.
If you or someone you know was hurt in a duck tour accident, call the experienced law firm at Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. While regulation in this area of law may be unclear at times, your rights never are. And we’ll fight to make sure those rights are protected.
If there is one thing that you must NOT do following a large tour bus accident, it is to speak with the at-fault company's insurance adjustors. No matter who tells you that they are there to help, no matter what genuine offers they seem to present, and regardless of how much they may threaten, bully, or menace you – DO NOT speak with them. Insurance agents and policy holders are trained to use everything you say and do against you. Why? Because when it comes down to it, insurance companies are concerned with protecting themselves and their clients – not you. They want nothing more than for you to drop your claim and abandon the fight.
But, unfortunately for them, you're ahead of the game. You know that having an attorney acting on your behalf is the only way to contend with these insurance companies that are only concerned about their bottom line. With a qualified Seattle tour bus crash attorney by your side, you won't be receiving some inadequate amount of compensation for your pain, but rather the proper and just settlement you deserve.
Unfortunately, insurance adjustors aren't the only thing actively working against your complaint. The state of Washington maintains a statute of limitations on all lawsuits, which means you have a limited amount of time in which to successfully file against the at-fault touring company. Failing to file within that time limit means a complete loss of your ability to seek justice – which means you need to act quickly.
Call (888) 228-3860 and speak with one of the experienced Seattle bus accident attorneys at Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. for more information. By scheduling a free and comprehensive case evaluation today, you're securing your right to compensation tomorrow.
Call us for a free consultation(888) 228-3860
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